This “progressive prosecutor” phenomenon is one of the few examples I have seen of “reform within the system” actually working. Probably because prosecutors have enormous powers and can pretty much unilaterally alter the character of the criminal justice system in their own jurisdiction. A prosecutor who is ideologically committed to reform can make significant changes.
By Avery Kleiman, PBS
Prosecutors are some of the most powerful figures in the criminal justice system. They decide whether to file or drop charges and what sentence to seek. But of the 2,400 prosecutors elected to office, progressive prosecutors are a small but growing number of attorneys pushing for reform, ending policies that they consider unfair.
But some criminal justice critics wonder if, by definition, the job of a prosecutor fundamentally resists these changes.
We talked with a panel of public defenders about their work. Find that conversation here.
Is there an exact definition of progressive prosecution? And how much change can these progressive prosecutors enact?
We ask a panel of them those questions and take yours.